Telehealth and Telemedicine implicate many different sources of authority, including federal and state laws regarding fraud and abuse, telemedicine-specific requirements for reimbursement by Medicare and Medicaid (the latter of which vary by state), and various professional rules governed by state medical boards and similar bodies. Beyond legal and professional authorities, individual private insurance plans have varying reimbursement policies for telehealth services. And adding further to this complex patchwork, COVID-19 has caused rapid changes—some temporary, some permanent—to many of the existing rules and guidance.
No single resource can address all of the issues surrounding telehealth law and policy. We list here, however, a series of links in the different areas that should be helpful to any telehealth-related business or telehealth healthcare provider.
Center for Connected Health Policy (CCHP)
The CCHP provides the best and most comprehensive telehealth resource on the Internet, including regularly updated policy trackers, 50-state guides to telehealth rules and regulations, and a wealth of educational videos, reports, and other materials.
CCHP was selected by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration to act as the National Telehealth Policy Resource Center. It provides technical policy support to telehealth regional centers across the country. CCHP’s website offers an extensive library of telehealth resources and interactive tools.
Telehealth Resource Centers: The regional centers within the National Consortium of Telehealth Resource Centers (NCTRC) focus is implementation of telehealth programs for rural and underserved communities. Their website offers additional resources and telehealth support.
Federal and State Telehealth Information
Reimbursement. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) provide a list of Payable Telehealth Services under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule:
Medicare—telehealth services topics.
Department of Health and Human Services: General Telehealth information
Medicaid—Overview of telehealth coverage
State laws—CCHP’s interactive state map
State laws—The Telehealth Resource Centers Regional Offices
Accessible through its main site above, the Telehealth Resource Center has regional offices across the United States, each of which has further information about state-specific telehealth rules for Medicaid and private insurers. For example, Texas reimbursement is addressed in a graphic chart here (https://texlatrc.org/reimbursement/). Other sites have similar information for states in their region.
CMS—General information on changes due to Covid. https://www.cms.gov/About-CMS/Agency-Information/Emergency/EPRO/Current-Emergencies/Current-Emergencies-page
State Medical Boards—Modifications regarding telehealth during Covid-19 pandemic
State Medical Boards—Modifications regarding licensure during Covid-19 pandemic
Covid-19—Summary of state changes
Covid-19 Telehealth Policy—changes generally
Covid-19—CMS announcement of expanded telehealth coverage
Selected Federal Fraud Laws
False statements related to healthcare matters